Marx + Engels + Lenin .svg
THE COMMUNISM PORTAL
Marx + Engels + Lenin .svg

Introduction

Communism (from Latin communis, 'common, universal') is a far-left philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order structured upon the ideas of common or social ownership of all property, including the means of production, and can involve the absence of social classes, money, and the state. Communism is a specific, yet distinct, form of socialism. Communists often seek a voluntary state of self-governance, but disagree on the means to this end, reflecting a distinction between a more libertarian approach of communization, revolutionary spontaneity, and workers' self-management, and a more vanguardist or Communist party-driven approach through the development of a constitutional socialist state followed by Marx's withering away of the state.

Variants of communism have been developed throughout history, including anarcho-communism and Marxist schools of thought. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought which broadly include Marxism, Leninism, and libertarian communism as well as the political ideologies grouped around both, all of which share the analysis that the current order of society stems from capitalism, its economic system and mode of production, namely that in this system there are two major social classes, the relationship between these two classes is exploitative, and that this situation can only ultimately be resolved through a social revolution. The two classes are the proletariat (the working class), who make up the majority of the population within society and must work to survive, and the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class), a small minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. According to this analysis, revolution would put the working class in power and in turn, establish common ownership of property which is the primary element in the transformation of society towards a communist mode of production.

In the 20th century, Communist governments espousing Marxism–Leninism and its variants came into power in parts of the world, first in the Soviet Union with the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then in portions of Eastern Europe, Asia, and a few other regions after World War II. Along with social democracy, communism became the dominant political tendency within the international socialist movement by the 1920s. Criticism of communism can be divided into two broad categories, namely that which concerns itself with the practical aspects of 20th century Communist states and that which concerns itself with communist principles and theory. Several academics and economists, among other scholars, posit that the Soviet model under which these nominally Communist states in practice operated was not an actual communist economic model in accordance with most accepted definitions of communism as an economic theory but in fact a form of state capitalism, or non-planned administrative-command system. (Full article...)

Selected article

Mao flag
Maoism or Mao Zedong Thought (Chinese: 毛澤東思想, pinyin: Máo Zēdōng Sīxĭang) is an ideology derived from the teachings of Mao Zedong. In the People's Republic of China (PRC) Mao Zedong Thought has been the official doctrine of the Communist Party of China since the Cultural Revolution of the mid 1960s, although since the reforms of Deng Xiaoping the term has had little meaning in practice.

Outside the PRC, Maoism was a term, used from the 1960s onwards, usually in a hostile sense, to describe parties or individuals who supported Mao Zedong and his form of Communism, as opposed to the form practised in the Soviet Union, which these groups denounced as "revisionist." These groups usually rejected the term Maoism, preferring to call themselves Marxist-Leninists. Since the death of Mao and the reforms of Deng, most of these parties have disappeared, but various small Communist groups in a number of countries continue to advance Maoist ideas.

Selected biography

Josip Broz Tito (Cyrillic script: Јосип Броз Тито, 7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav communist revolutionary and statesman. He was Secretary-General (later President) of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1939–80), and went on to lead the World War II Yugoslav anti-fascist guerrilla movement, the Yugoslav Partisans (1941–45). After the war, he was the Prime Minister from 1943 to 1963 and later President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1943 until his death in 1980.

Tito was the chief architect of the "second Yugoslavia", a socialist, aspiring towards communist, federation that lasted from World War II until 1991. Despite being one of the founders of Cominform, he was also the first (and the only successful) Cominform member to defy Soviet hegemony. A backer of independent roads to socialism (sometimes referred to as "national communism" or "Titoism"), he was one of the main founders and promoters of the Non-Aligned Movement, and its first Secretary-General.

During his rule he suppressed nationalist sentiment and promoted the "brotherhood and unity" of the six Yugoslav nations. After Tito's death in 1980, tensions between the Yugoslav republics emerged and in 1991 the country disintegrated and went into a series of civil wars and unrest that lasted the rest of the decade and continue to impact most of the former Yugoslav republics to this day. He remains a controversial figure in the Balkans.

Did you know...

Selected image

Communism News

No recent news

Related portals

Communism-related Wikiprojects

Communism-related featured content

Participate!

Everyone is welcome to participate in WikiProject Socialism, where editors collaborate to improve all aspects related to socialism on Wikipedia.

Selected quote

In our time only a party that will organise really nation-wide exposures can become the vanguard of the revolutionary forces. The word “nation-wide” has a very profound meaning. The overwhelming majority of the non-working-class exposers (be it remembered that in order to become the vanguard, we must attract other classes) are sober politicians and level-headed men of affairs. They know perfectly well how dangerous it is to “complain” even against a minor official, let alone against the “omnipotent” Russian Government. And they will come to us with their complaints only when they see that these complaints can really have effect, and that we represent a political force. In order to become such a force in the eyes of outsiders, much persistent and stubborn work is required to raise our own consciousness, initiative, and energy. To accomplish this it is not enough to attach a “vanguard” label to rearguard theory and practice.

But if we have to undertake the organisation of a really nationwide exposure of the government, in what way will then the class character of our movement be expressed? — the overzealous advocate of “close organic contact with the proletarian struggle” will ask us, as indeed he does. The reply is manifold: we Social-Democrats will organise these nation-wide exposures; all questions raised by the agitation will he explained in a consistently Social-Democratic spirit, without any concessions to deliberate or undeliberate distortions of Marxism; the all-round political agitation will be conducted by a party which unites into one inseparable whole the assault on the government in the name of the entire people, the revolutionary training of the proletariat, and the safeguarding of its political independence, the guidance of the economic struggle of the working class, and the utilisation of all its spontaneous conflicts with its exploiters which rouse and bring into our camp increasing numbers of the proletariat.

— Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)
What Is to Be Done? , 1902

Subcategories

Want to find an article related to communism? Try browsing through any of the main categories below:
Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Communism-related topics

General

Variations of Communism

Organizations and ruling parties, past and present

Personalities

Present and former Socialist states (under the direction of Communist parties)

Ideology and tactics

Structure

Marxian economics topics

Historical events

Military topics

Artists and writers

Influential works

Anti-communism

Communism-related lists

Things you can do

Communism in non-English Wikipedias

Articles:

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Discover Wikipedia using portals

Purge server cache